Austin Dewart is a young adult author who currently resides in Northern California. Aside from being an avid distance runner for NF Endurance, a nonprofit for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, he also plays basketball frequently and loves the sport of football. At the start of his junior year, Austin began taking classes at his local community college and as such, graduated a year early as valedictorian of his class. Currently, he is an English lit major with hopes of one day becoming an English professor.Outside of writing, Austin Dewart is a camp counselor and a journalist for his junior college newspaper. He also has a deep love for the ocean, where he stays with his family in a small ocean-side community named Fort Bragg. When he isn’t working on one of his projects, he can found either hanging with friends or planning his next race in his Race for Change fundraiser series as a part of NF Endurance.
Starting in early 2015, the first of his novels will begin to be released, starting with Somewhere with the Wind, and continuing throughout the year with One Last Cast and Beyond the Endzone somewhere in the summer.
Some of his more notable achievements in writing are recently finishing the first draft of his tenth novel, having wrote a book series, and crossing a million words written in May. Austin looks to this year to be the start of what is hopefully many to come publishing books and ultimately, becoming a better author while continuing to be a better person in the process and as well as growing as an individual. As one of his best friends and mentor said, “From here, there’s nowhere to go but up.”
Thank you for joining us, Austin, please tell us a little about yourself including hobbies and interests.
I’m a sophomore in college as of right now and also ran for our cross country team, which was interesting. I love sports, basketball and football in particular. Writing takes up most of my life, but I also love Breaking Bad and probably watch more Netflix than any normal person should.
How long have you been writing?
I started seriously my sophomore year of high school with short stories. In the past year and a half, I’ve only missed three days of writing due to being a camp counselor this summer.
What inspired you to write your first book, Somewhere with the Wind?
This book is special to me for a lot of reasons. First, its based on the first short story I ever wrote, and second, one of the MC’s, Claire, is based on a girl I knew in high school as well, who stood out from the rest in her own unique fashion and quite frankly, was just an amazing person.
If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be and why?
Rick Riordan. I began reading him in middle school. He got me into writing and my first few novellas and novel were based on his writings.
I understand you are due to self-publish four books in 2015, starting with Somewhere with the Wind in January. What is the book about?
This is a love loss book in which the other MC, Carson, struggles with panic attacks and depression after the loss of his mom in a car accident he blames himself for. From star basketball player and student, he becomes a sad, frustrated teenager who even teeters on the edge of suicide until Claire comes into his life and changes everything and teaches him to love life again, until his new world that she has helped create between the two of them comes tumbling down and Carson finds himself in freefall again. In short, I’ll add the synopsis below.
Synopsis: Carson Chandler was lost and he didn’t even know it. He was drowning in his emotions on a path that had nowhere to go but down. That was until he met Claire, the girl that changed his life. Forever. But through unforeseen and unpredictable events, the hands of fate conspired to tear these lovers apart. Can Carson cope with the impending sense of loss? Will he revert to his former ways? Or will their love shine through the darkest moments and inspire him to persevere? Only time and fate can tell.
What importance do you place on cover design and why? Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? Who designed your covers?
The cover is the first thing a reader looks at. You need something unique to catch their attention. My book is primarily contemporary YA, so it was important to find someone capable of capturing that theme in the cover as I envisioned it to be. The actual designer is professional from France who has his own design studio.
What social media platforms do you use to market your books and which have you found to be the most effective?
Mostly, Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is by far the easier of the two options. In my few months since joining, I’ve managed to accumulate almost 28,000 followers.
How effective do you feel Twitter and Facebook are as marketing tools for authors?
Social media is how you build a platform for publishing your book. There’s so many others publishing indie works, you need to stand out and get your book to an audience. So Twitter and Facebook are everything.
What importance do you place on authors having their own website?
It’s a definite need to have. I consider my website to be the flagship of my online presence. I have an app form for Android and soon to be for iPhone too. Along with this I’ll also be releasing a writer’s resources of sorts on my website with anything and everything on writing in an attempt to make my site more interactive and build a stronger base of fans and as a community, as well. Website: www.Austindewart.com
Have you ever considered switching to the traditional publishing route? What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I like doing my own marketing and having control of my book as well as being my own agent. I’ve written a lot of works and even more words (over 1.2 million) but never submitted to a traditional publisher. Its just not my thing, you could say. Not for now at least. I do plan to turn traditional, but that’s a few years from now. Indie is where I want to be as of the present.
As I mentioned above, in self-publishing you are the author as well as the editor, agent, and marketer. All those extras associated with traditional publishing fall on you. If you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t have a plan, you won’t sell many, if any copies. On the other hand, you have all the control in indie publishing. You’re your own boss, which I love.
Do you outline the plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
For Somewhere with the Wind, I did last April. It depends, though. I actually use outlining as an escape from my more disinteresting college courses. However, I can do both sufficiently. It comes down to preference on the project.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
No, not at all. Writing is a skill. The more skilled you become, the more you know how to get through any and all situations.
How old were you when you self-published your first book?
15. I’ve since retracted the book for a rewrite in the future.
As a young indie author, what advice can you offer to young writers?
Write. Write as much as you can, and read when not writing. Those are the basic two. Much advice on writing is so diverse that it varies from author to author, so I would recommend for writers to find their own niche that they feel compelled to write and start from there.
Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely. It’s the dream I’ve surmised since starting, and I will accomplish it. However, I don’t plan to go into journalism, or be a freelance writer. I’m majoring in English, with plans for a PhD to teach English at the university level. I plan to teach until I have the base and audience to either retire to write, or quite simply teaching to write. However, that will most likely take a few decades.
What are your plans for the future?
I have three books, most finished, that I want to release throughout the upcoming year. Of course that may not come to fruition, its simply a part of my marketing outline for now. There’s also quite a few other projects I’m very excited to begin writing, rather than editing, and one of them may become my main focus down the line. You never know. However, said three books are listed under my site as works, which the summaries of may be read if someone wants to know more on a particular one.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?
I’m grateful. Anyone who buys my book, I extend my thanks to you. Its taken a lot of effort and work by many more people than just myself to come to this point that my book is ready to come into print like this. I hope you enjoy the book. My beta readers and editor certainly did, and so did I writing the manuscript. This is the end of the process, and its you, the readers, that have the final act.